Georges Méliès was a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. (Wikipedia)
A prolific innovator in the use of special effects, accidentally discovered the substitution stop trick, he was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his work. Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality through cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the first "Cinemagician".
Two of his most well-known films are A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904). Both stories involve strange, surreal voyages, somewhat in the style of Jules Verne, and are considered among the most important early science fiction films, though their approach is closer to fantasy. Méliès was also an early pioneer of horror cinema, which can be traced back to his Le Manoir du diable (1896).
The body of his work is impressive and essential to the birth of cinema as we know it. Official Website